Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

The Daughter of Frank © Gene Gonzales

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween. Get lots of candy and don't "TP" anyone's house. As for us, we are going to have about a dozen 9th graders here for a little party. Talk about Halloween Terror!!!

This piece was done in mix media on a 10" x 15" sheet of 140# Canson Montval cold press watercolor paper.

This is Post #1122

Saturday, October 30, 2010

French Maid

Artwork © Gene Gonzales

Today's post was inspired by my lovely wife's costume for Halloween. This was inked using my new Pentel Brush Pen. The graphic element behind the maid was the only thing not done with using a brush pen. I used a ruler and a Copic Multiliner pen for that. Still some adjustments I need to make when using the brush pen, but I'm sure I will get the feel for it pretty quick.

This is done on a 11"x 17" sheet of Strathmore Smooth Finish Bristol Board.

This is Post #1121

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sketchbook Friday - Pentel Brush Pen

I love new art supplies. Sometimes something looks good but doesn't work out, but it's still fun to try new things. This week I finally got a Pentel Brush Pen. I have seen other artist on-line use them but have never seen one in the wild. Not even at my local art store. So I ordered a couple with a couple of refill cartridges. The Aquaman piece below is my first real attempt at using the brush pen and I am very happy with the results.

Aquaman © DC Comics 

Below is a shot of the brush pen. There are some key advantages with this tool. First, the brush is nylon and it holds a very nice point. The Aquaman art is only 4" x 5"and I managed to get some nice delicate lines on it. The Pitt brush pens I have used are made from felt and they tend to get soft pretty quick. And even brand new, it's hard to get a real delicate line using them. There are two advantages for me in using the Pentel Brush Pen over a regular brush. The first being that the Brush Pen has an ink cartridge that feeds the ink to the brush as needed. In the picture below, the black area that makes up the body of the brush pen is the cartridge. I don't have to clean my brush or keep going back to the ink to dip. The other advantage is the thickness of the brush pen. When I use a regular brush, I tend to hold it really tight. So tight that I get an indentation on my finger. The brushes are skinny and I have tried wrapping them in tape or putting things around them to make the grip area thicker but it never feels right.  This brush pen has a nice natural feel to it and is very comfortable to hold.

I will be playing with these more as time allows. I'm sure I will find some drawbacks to them, but as of right now I am very happy my purchase and the results.

This is Post #1120

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chloe Sullivan and the Wall of Weird

Chloe Sullivan © DC Comics

This is the second of my commissioned pieces for Royce. This is my comic book take on SMALLVILLE's Chloe Sullivan. I picked the time when Chloe was still collecting anything that had to do with meteor freaks and strange happenings in Smallville. For some reason, despite her investigative skills as the editor of the Smallville High School newspaper The Torch, she seems to miss the pattern that is developing right in front of her. :)

Thanks Royce, for the chance to draw a member of the Superman family that I have never drawn before. Both pieces were fun to do. I hope you enjoy them!

This is Post #1119

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sketchbook Wednesday

Artwork © Gene Gonzales

I am a big fan of Bob Oksner's art. I believe the first time I saw his work was on Supergirl. And then on Mary Marvel in the pages of Shazam. I didn't discover his work on Angel and the Ape until later. He drew the cutest/sexiest women. They covered the gamut from bad girls to sweet girls. Smart girls and well, not so smart. He was also a terrific inker. I loved his inks over Curt Swan when they did Superman together. That was a powerful looking Superman. I believe he did inks over José Luis Garcia Lopez's Superman as well in the mid 1970s.

In the last few months I have managed to purchase several original pages of Oksner art. Four consecutive pages from a Mary Marvel story in Shazam #13, and three Soozie newspaper strips from 1967. I only recently became aware of the Soozie strip and I am hooked. I hope to get my greedy hands on some more in the future. Especially a Sunday page. It would be nice if they were collected in a book.

So today is just another sketchbook day. I haven't finished anything I can show but I did doodle a bit. A couple of the faces above were my quick and sad attempts to capture the Oksner Girl quality while looking at the framed Soozie strips hanging above my drawing table. Sigh.

This is Post #1118

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sketchbook Tuesday - Modesty Blaise

Modesty Blaise © Associated Newspaper/Atlantic Syndication

I should start up a new tag for my blog posts: Telephone call sketches. I have started reading the first volume of Modesty Blaise newspaper strips. I just started but I am enjoying it. Probably why I started sketching this, my version of Miss Blaise, while I was on a call. :)

I finished the first round of drawings for another grammar book, the student copy, and feel pretty good about it. This is the second book in the series that I have worked on in the last couple of months. I'm hoping to be involved with the rest of the series. A different, and rather large project is moving along nicely. Tomorrow I will be devoting the whole day to it. Probably the rest of the week, unless something distracts me.

I finished transferring my sketchbook drawing of Royce's next commission piece to bristol board today. Now I just need to tighten it up and start inking. Should be done by the end of the week. Then I move on to a two character commission that will be wacky fun. :)

I uploaded over 115 images to my site, also known as my comic art/pin-up related site. Everything I put up is on my blog posts for the last 10 months, but now they are in galleries and easier to view. I had now idea I had that much material to work with. And actually I didn't even get into the work that is mine, as opposed to super-hero art. Another jaw dropping moment was when I found out I have done more than 40 of the gray Canson Paper Portraits. That is just amazing. And I'm still sitting on a lot of them. :) Anyway, take a glance over there if you can't find anything else to look at on the internet. :)

This is Post #1117

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sketchbook Monday

Artwork © Gene Gonzales

Full morning of drawing illustrations for another grammar book, then a full afternoon of sitting in waiting rooms doodling in my sketchbook. Then back to the studio for scanning and sending the artwork. Too tired to do anything else now so I must subject you to some of the doodles.

This is Post #1116

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tyroc - Canson Portrait

Tyroc © DC Comics

Tyroc was the first black Legionnaire. Shadow Lass was supposed to be the first, but editorial got cold feet. It was some years later that Tyroc hit the scene with a really lame excuse as to why you never saw anyone who was black in the 30th Century. Something I had never thought of at the time, but afterward wondered where are the hispanic and Native Americans. Actually, I don't think "Native Americans" was the term back then. Dawnstar would come later to represent the Native Americans of the 30th century. And a similar excuse for why there were no Native Americans seen in the 30th Century prior to her arrival. Something I hadn't thought about until now. I think Tyroc's second appearance, where he joined the Legion, also marked the first appearance of the character now called Earthman in the latest Legion comics. Someone might correct me on that though.

Tyroc could scream/yell and the sound would do a very wide variety of things. Almost anything that was needed for the story. He was a character that had some potential but didn't seem to get his time to shine. Maybe it was the outfit. :) I have seen some of the new Legion comics and I noticed they have Tyroc in them and he seems pretty cool. He's powers seem to have been refined and he got rid of the chains and high collar. Good for him! But for this piece, I went back to the time he first appeared. I hope I haven't embarrassed him. :)

This is Post #1115

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Vixen - Canson Portrait

Vixen © DC Comics

I think this is the first time I have ever drawn Vixen. I have a couple of sheets of Canson paper that are perfect for characters of color. My first impulse was Storm. Then the X-Men, Thunder Bird. Maybe Luke Cage. Well, I didn't feel like drawing a tough guy today but liked the idea of doing someone I have never tackled before. Then while searching for some Bob Oksner artwork online, I came across Vixen. In case you didn't know, Vixen was created by Gerry Conway (first comic pro I ever met) and Bob Oksner. So I had my character to draw. I went with her more contemporary look, not really liking the Wolverine-like hair she sported for a while. I think this look is much more elegant, sexy and it took care of my need to draw a beautiful woman. Maybe I'll draw Thunder Bird or Cage tomorrow. :)

This was done in ink and white color pencil on a 9" x 12" sheet of Canson Paper.

This is Post #1114

Friday, October 22, 2010

Supergirl - Maid of Might! Inked Commission

Supergirl © DC Comics

Royce made his choice from the roughs I posted and here is the finished piece. For me this Supergirl costume is second only to the hot pants costume as drawn by Bob Oksner or Art Saaf. It's fun, sexy and I think she got it from Diana "Wonder Woman" Prince. I seem to recall Supergirl trying on the costume in Diana's boutique. (WW lost her powers back then and was doing her Emma Peel impression. Google that if you are too young to know what I am talking about). :) I don't have those particular issues anymore so I may be wrong. Feel free to correct me if I am.

Which reminds me, it would be great if DC would make their library available in a digital format. I would go broke, that's for sure.

Thanks again Royce. As you know, I am always up to drawing Kara. And now I have a bunch of poses that I can work on in my free time. ;)

This is Post #1113

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Supergirl - Maid of Might! (More poses)

Supergirl © DC Comics

Just a two more ideas for a pose for the Supergirl commission I am going to do for Royce. The second inked piece Royce asked for is Chloe Sullivan from Smallville. I have that one nailed down in my head and I won't be sharing anything until it's done. That one will be a complete surprise. :)

This is Post #1112

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Catwoman & Dex Starr - Canson Cutie finish

Catwoman & Dex-Starr © DC Comics

Here is the finished Canson Cutie of Catwoman and Red Lantern, Dex-Starr for Comix Book Gurl, Lisa. Dex seems to have a little crush on Selina and will do anything for her. This was a fun concept that Lisa came up with and I had a blast doing it. Thanks again Lisa!

This piece was done with ink, color pencil & acrylic paint on an 11" x 17" sheet of Canson Mi-Teintes paper.

This is Post #1111

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Supergirl - Maid of Might!

Supergirl © DC Comics

I only had a few hours to work on commissions tonight. I transfered the line art for the Catwoman/Dex-Starr commission to the final Canson paper, and worked on the above sketchy ideas for an inked commission for Royce. He asked for Supergirl in one of her mod outfits of the late 60s/early 70s and I am more than happy to draw Kara for him.

This is Post #1110

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sketchbook Monday - Space Jungle Girl vs NDA

Space Jungle Girl © Gene Gonzales

Just picked up another project doing spot illustrations for another text book. And I was asked about another project last week that I should know about soon. So all in all I have at least five projects that are all under nondisclosure agreements. The work load I can handle, but that leaves almost nothing I can share of my commercial work. Today I was buried in Adobe Illustrator. I designed a piece of art that when finished will  be 5' wide x 3' tall. The sketch was done in pencil on 11" x 17" paper. I am now redrawing it in Illustrator. That is what I worked on most of the day, starting at 7am. It looks really cool too. I did take a break to take my lovely wife out to lunch. It was a beautiful day here and it was nice to get out and enjoy it for a little bit.

Sorry, not much energy left for anything but sketchbook doodling. So I leave you with my Space Jungle Girl in a interesting situation. Hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys in this one. :)

This is Post #1109

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Smallville - Old School (color rough)

Superboy, Smallville & related characters © DC Comics

Okay, I should be working but I really wanted to put some color to this. This will not be the final color scheme, though I do like some parts of it.

This is Post #1108

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Smallville - Old School!

Superboy and related characters © DC Comics

Today I had an email exchange with Royce about Superman Family characters and it sparked an idea. I had to put it to paper otherwise I would forget. Between the emails and the excellent SMALLVILLE episode last night, I was inspired with the idea of doing a "movie poster" piece that reflects Smallville from the comics I grew up reading. I don't know when I will get around to it, but I will. :)

This is Post #1107

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sketchbook Friday

Artwork © Gene Gonzales

Just another sketchbook Friday folks. In a bit of good news, I found out the printing service I used last year for my color sketchbook now has perfect binding services. So I can do a square bound book like my first two. Now the tough part will be putting the book together and deciding on a page count. 48 pages of full color interiors will be the starting point. That's what my other books were. But I just might increase it this time.

Have a good weekend everyone!

This is Post #1106

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Power Girl - Commission

Another busy day today. Always a good thing. Gary commissioned this Power Girl pin-up. It is one of two commissions I have been working on. I have been doing little sketches of Power Girl in order to get the right look. And I think I got it with this one. Done with a brush, ink and some Copic Multiliner pens.

And for all you folks that like to see the process. Below is the initial sketch. A bit cartoony in this stage. I moved just a bit away from that in the final. I was mostly going for gesture and expression at this point. This sketch is about 3 inches tall by 6 inches wide and done in blue pencil in my sketchbook.

Below is the pencil stage. I enlarged the rough and used my light table to transfer the image to the final board where worked on the details. Once I had it where I wanted it, I went to the inks. I broke out my Windsor Newton Series 7 #3 brush for this one. Using the pens for the clouds and the sun beams in the background. Some little touch ups were done with the pens as well.

Thanks for the commission Gary!
Power Girl © DC Comics

If anyone interested in a commission for themselves or as gifts (holiday season is fast approaching) just send me an email with "Commission" in the subject line.

This is Post #1105

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Catwoman & Dex Starr - Canson Cutie line art

Catwoman & Dex Starr © DC Comics

I have finished the "pencils" digitally. At least as far as I need to take them. Normally I would have done this all on paper, but by doing this digitally I was able to move things around, rotate things, resize, etc, without the extra work of erasing, scanning, redrawing, etc. This is going to be printed out and used to transfer the line art to the final board. I have a couple of other elements I am going to add but those are small and I can do that later. Lisa has approved the pencils so I am ready move to the next step.

This is Post #1104

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Catwoman & Dex Starr - Canson Cutie progress

Catwoman & Dex Starr © DC Comics

Just a little digital progress on the figure work today. More to come. :)

Now I'm going to watch the Rays-Rangers game! Go Rays!

This is Post #1103

Monday, October 11, 2010

Catwoman & Dex Starr - Canson Cutie Roughs

Catwoman & Dex Starr © DC Comics

These are three rough ideas I though up for a commission for Lisa, aka Comix Book Gurl. The idea is to have Catwoman and Dex Starr in a playful moment. More later.

This is Post #1102

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sketchbook Sunday

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I was overly optimistic about what I would accomplish this weekend. While I got a lot done, I didn't get to everything on my list. I blame it on the Tampa Bay Rays who came back to win games 3 and 4 against the Texas Rangers. Game 5 Tuesday at the Trop. Go Rays! :)

This is Post #1101

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lil Timber Wolf & Guest Artist Dakota Gonzales

Timber Wolf © DC Comics

Still having fun with the Lil Heroes. They are something I can pick up and put down in between scanning and working. Today I wanted to try a Legionnaire. I know, big surprise. :)

Guest Artist of the Week

I thought I would try something different and special. As I may have mentioned, my daughter Dakota is an artist as well. Though her mother and I have encouraged her artistic endeavors from an early, early age, I have never given her any instruction. She is a self taught artist who specializes in digital painting. So with her permission I thought I would share something she finished last night. Done in Photoshop using a Wacom Tablet and her MacBook Pro laptop.

Artwork © 2010 Dakota Gonzales

This is Post #1100

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sketchbook Friday

Artwork © Gene Gonzales

This has been a good day. I had a conference call with a client to review my first pass at the art and it went extremely well. It helps that I am working with a great group of people. Good energy and a clear vision had been established. That makes my part of the job fun and productive. I still have about 10 pieces of art to finish by Tuesday for the grammar text book I am working on but I feel a great deal of weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Knocking out a couple of deadlines within a 24 hour period will do that.

In other news, Dakota and I met with the Chief of Fire and Rescue here in Largo to set up Dakota's career shadowing. Next friday she will be doing a 12 hour shift at the busiest Fire House here in Largo. She will mostly be shadowing the paramedics, but will still be riding in the various vehicles, going out on calls. All part of the Excel program at her high school. She is pretty excited about it.

Grammar text book art tomorrow, commissions on Sunday. Same Bat-Channel. Same Bat-Time!

Have a good weekend!

This is Post #1099

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Valkyrie - Canson Portrait

Valkyrie © her respective copyright holder.

Another extremely busy day after a late night. I managed to work from 6:30 am until 12:30 am. Up again at 6 am and started all over again. But as of tonight, two deadlines taken care of with one more to go. Then I start working on the next round of deadlines. Being a freelance commercial artist is so glamourous. :)

I did make some time to whip this up tonight. When I do these portraits, I just dig in. I don't plan much of anything. If I were to do this over again I would have added more of her body, to show more of her costume. But I was so happy with the face and the hair that I didn't want to mess it up by redoing it. :)

This is Post #1098

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Power Girl!

Power Girl © DC Comics

I still have Power Girl on the brain it seems. :) Thought I would post this before running down to the corner Starbucks to load up on a triple non-fat cappuccino - no whip. I have a VERY long night ahead of me.

(Yeah, I know that "WELL" probably should have had a question mark but I've already uploaded the art and I'm too busy to fix it right now. Need coffee!)  :)

This is Post #1097

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sketchbook Tuesday

Power Girl © DC Comics

Busy day today. But I managed to doodle some Power Girl poses. Just trying some ideas out for a Power Girl commission I will be working on very soon.

In the last couple of days I manage to make some convention plans too. Booked the hotel for HeroesCon in June and confirmed being a guest at MegaCon in March. Five months away for one and eight months away for the other. Whew!

I am planning on doing another sketchbook for 2011. I have plenty of material that's for sure. But I need some feedback from anyone who purchased any of my sketchbooks. Or even if you have an opinion about any sketchbooks. Do you like them in black and white or in color? Small digest size, comic book size or magazine size? I'm interested in your opinions. If you don't want to post it here, send me an email with "Sketchbook" in the subject line. Thanks!

This is Post #1096

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Golden Age Flash - Canson portrait

The Flash © DC Comics

I didn't have time to do a fully rendered piece. Just overloaded this week with deadlines. But I did manage to finish this piece in a way that I still like. I had the face done about a week ago but didn't know what to do with it. It just didn't speak to me. This afternoon I looked at it again on my drawing board and a young Jay Garrick came to mind. And here he is. Sometimes things just work out. :)

This is Post #1095

Sunday, October 3, 2010

White Queen - Sketch

White Queen © Marvel Entertainment

Just a quick sketch on a 11" x 17" sheet of gray Canson paper that I did while scanning other work I was doing today. I was too lazy to cut down a piece for a portrait so I just started drawing. Considering the final result, I probably should have cut down the paper and drawn a portrait. :)

This is Post #1094

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Black Cat - Canson Protrait

Black Cat © Marvel Entertainment

Black Cat is another suggestion from Comix Book Gurl, Lisa.

Today has been filled with finishing pieces of artwork for a grammar text book I am working on. I managed to do 12 full color pieces today, based on my roughs. It was pretty nice that only two figures had small changes to them and one other was changed to better fit the copy. It was nothing I did wrong. I still have another 20+ pieces to go and hope to finish them all up by Monday. Deadline for them is Friday but I have two other deadlines due then as well, so work, work, work!

This is Post #1093

Friday, October 1, 2010

Poison Ivy - Canson Portrait

Poison Ivy © DC Comics

Today's gray Canson Portrait was a suggestion from Comix Book Gurl, Lisa. Thanks for the suggestion!

I spent most of the day playing catch up from being gone for three days in the middle of the week. Next week will be a tough one. I have three, count them, three deadlines on Friday. So the plan is to get a good nights rest and start fresh early in the morning. Yup, that's the plan. Good plan. Whew!

Good night everyone.

This is Post #1092